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					Spotlight on Hidden Physicists

Stephanie Chasteen                           Robert L. Greeson                           an “actuarial programmer” by an insur-
Writer & Education Consultant                Patent Attorney                             ance company and the rest is history. I
Boulder, CO                                  Dallas, TX                                  passed the series of actuarial exams in
                        I decided in         I am a patent attorney at the interna-      under 5 years, went on to accept posi-
                        8th grade home       tional law firm of Fulbright & Jawor-       tions as Vice-President and Actuary at
                        economics, of all    ski, LLP, in Dallas, TX. My practice        several insurance companies. I even
                        places, to be a      largely involves the prosecution of         had the title of President at one small
                        physicist. There,    patents before the United States Patent     insurance company and was on the
                        I was told that a    & Trademark Office (USPTO). My              Board of Directors at a couple of oth-
                        physicist is some-   practice further focuses on patents in      ers. The insurance industry was going
                        one who “figures     the areas of fluid analysis, wireless       through a period of consolidation at
out how the world works.” But my             communications, audio recognition,          that time and after surviving a couple of
career path has been more of a random        semiconductors, networks, and energy.       mergers, I opted to go into consulting
walk to an interesting place than a          Also, I am involved in various patent       with Milliman, Inc., where I have been
beeline with a purpose.                      litigation matters.                         for over 20 years.
   In college I realized that in research,      I became a member of Sigma Pi               About the only place my physics
I would study just a small bite of the       Sigma as an undergraduate student           background is applied is in my div-
universe. I wasn't sure that's how I         at Austin College in Sherman, TX.           ing and underwater photography.
wanted to spend my life. Instead, I got      Afterward, I attended the University        I also serve as Adjunct Director of
my BA in social psychology, because it       of Texas at Dallas, where I received an     Photography and Shark Behavior
felt more relevant. At my graduation,        MS in Applied Physics. As a graduate        Expert for the World Aquarium in St.
my physics and psychology professors         student I had the opportunity to work       Louis, Missouri where my underwater
posed, each tugging me in opposite           on industry-specific applications, par-     photography and video is on display.
directions.                                  ticularly in the fields of telecommuni-     This is also the home of two nine-foot
   Those opposing forces have contin-        cations and semiconductor processing.       nurse sharks that my wife and I drove
ued in my life, but they have combined       I received my law degree from Baylor        across country from Long Beach to St.
in a delightful unforeseen way. I missed     Law School in Waco, TX. During              Louis, but that's another story.
science and entered a PhD program            law school I passed the Patent Bar to
to learn more physics. But, indeed, I        become registered to practice before                           Mark L. Maiello
didn't like scientific research. At the      the USPTO.                                                     Health Physicist
heart of it, I'm interested in how we                                                                       Pearl River, NY
understand and explain the world. I                               Timothy F. Harris                         I combined my BS in
interned at NPRs science desk. After                              Consulting                                physics with a master's
earning my PhD in physics, I took a                               Actuary                                   and PhD in environmen-
postdoc at the Exploratorium Museum                               Clayton, MO                               tal health and almost
of Science, Art and Human Percep-                                 When I gradu-          immediately was transformed into a
tion in San Francisco where I helped                              ated from Purdue       health physicist. It's been a great ride!
develop and teach workshops for high                              in 1971 with my        My career allowed me to visit national
school physics teachers.                                          BS in Physics, the     labs like Brookhaven, Los Alamos, and
   I'm now researching how juniors           space program had just gone through a       Argonne. I traveled to England, Holland,
learn physics at the University of Colo-     major reduction. The career prospects       Italy, Germany, Hawaii (to the 10,000
rado, but I'm soon to go underground         for physicists were so dim that there       foot level of Mauna Loa!) and numerous
once again. I am launching on my             were articles about physicists working      other US locations to do my work and
own as a science writer and education        as sanitation engineers (garbage col-       to attend conferences. Part of the job's
and outreach consultant. Like other          lectors) in California, and the govern-     appeal is that there can be a startling lack
scientists who have left the bench, my       ment was offering retraining programs       of knowledge about radiation and radio-
jobs allow me to combine my love for         including one that covered the cost of      activity even among engineers and other
science, creativity, and communication       dental school. I opted instead to hit the   scientists – let alone the public. I have
in a way that is constantly unfolding.       pavement with my minor in computer          always found it fulfilling to fill in that
                                             science and apply for positions as a        gap and get the truth out about the inter-
                                             computer programmer.                        esting aspects of the physical world.
                                               As luck would have it, I was hired as        My travel days are long over, but

10 Radiations                                                                                                           Fall 2009
now I find that I get nearly as much            Nearly 30 patents are issued listing
satisfaction writing and editorializing      Bob Maltby and hopefully a few more                           John E. Walls
about the issues health physicists face.     will be issued soon. The company that                         Pastor
The potential use of radioactivity for       we started in 1982, R&D Reflections                           Fairfield Bay, AR
acts of terrorism and the nuclear power      (Robert and Dee-my super-supportive                           John E. Walls (B.S.,
resurgence are especially important          wife-or Research and Development)                             Arkansas State
topics these days. I was able to become      has been a joy as three sons and one                          University (ASU),
a contributing editor of Health Physics      grandson have and occasionally still do     1971) is a charter member of Sigma
News whereby I can publish my articles       participate in developing instruments for   Pi Sigma at ASU. Rev. Walls (MDiv,
and ideas about this subject. But per-       the glass industry.                         Southern Methodist University, 1995)
haps the most interesting part of the                                                    is an ordained Elder in the Arkansas
job is meeting scientists from other                              Judith Barnett         Conference of the United Methodist
disciplines.. That is the nature of health                        Seelhorst              Church. He is currently the pastor of
physics: people from varied fields can                            Retired Teacher        Fairfield Bay United Methodist Church
do it. From my thesis advisor to the                              South Shore, KY        located in north-central Arkansas. He
scientists I met on my travels, they all                          I received a BA        has never lost his interest in physics,
have something interesting to share.                              in Physics from        and as time permits Rev. Walls is writ-
The learning experience never ends in                             Westhampton            ing a book and recently completed an
this profession!                             College of the University of Richmond,      experiment on gravitational waves.
                                             1948-50. I did graduate work in physics     The thesis of the book, tentatively
                         Robert E.           at the University of Kentucky where I       titled Moses, Darwin & Einstein: Black
                         Maltby, Jr.,        was also active in Sigma Pi Sigma.          Holes, Butterflies and Burning Bushes
                         Glass Expert           I taught for one year at (what was       is that scientific truths and religious
                         & Chief             then) St. Mary's Jr. College in Southern    truths both do exist, and that when they
                         Executive           Maryland, but did not get my thesis         are placed within a proper framework
                         Officer             written up as I had planned. I returned     of understanding they will complement,
                         Wayne, OH           to KY, married, and we raised 4 chil-       rather than contradict, each other.
The glass industry has been an art for       dren. I taught briefly during the early
thousands of years. July of 1958, as a       years of our marriage. After our            Ben R. Wiehe
graduate of Ohio State with a BS and         children left home, I got a Master of       Outreach Coordinator
having been inducted into Sigma Pi           Science in Education and returned           Boston, MA
Sigma, my boss asked me to try to use        to teaching. I retired from Greenup         I've had a varied work history, from
science in the glass industry. Fifty years   County High School where I taught           archaeological fieldwork, to refurbish-
later I am still trying.                     Physics, Conceptual Physics and             ing antique wooden sailboats, to wil-
   The flat glass industry was com-          Introduction to Physical Science.           derness EMT, to museum education. In
pletely changed by the development               After I retired, my second grade        each of these experiences I've drawn on
of float glass by Pilkington of England      grandson talked his teacher into invit-     the basic approach to rigorous problem-
in the late 1950s. My good fortune           ing me to come (almost 300 mi.) to          solving that I learned in the physics
was to be present when a joint ven-          show his class all of the fun things I      labs on my way to receiving a BA with
ture between Pilkington and LOF (my          knew how to do. Since then I have           a double major in physics and phi-
employer) led to making thin glass for       showed lots of elementary age students,     losophy. I could provide many specific
windshields. A few years later we were       in many places and situations, how          examples, but prefer to point out that
the first to make glass thicknesses up       to do such fun things as pull the table     the critical thinking skills, confidence,
to one inch. Several instruments were        cloth out from under the dishes and         and world view gained from a degree
also patented by our group that greatly      swing a container of water around. I        in the natural sciences are perhaps what
facilitated making and measuring the         always tell them why and how things         I have benefited from most. In one
float glass. Over the following years,       work (within their understanding) and       way or another, my physics training
windshield lamination, double glazing        make sure they know the word physics.       has shaped my experience of my most
insulated units, airplane glass, develop-        The grandson who started it all         important life events, such as extended
ment of new fabricating methods and          graduated in May as the top engi-           travel abroad, obtaining a graduate
equipment, consulting, and developing        neering student at Georgia Tech. He         degree in cultural anthropology, and
and teaching a class called Physics for      is now a graduate student at Cal            even tragic accidents.
Glassworkers have been some of what          Berkeley (grandmothers have to brag).
I was doing. More recently the use of        He said he thought about majoring in
glass in solar panels kept me busy for       physics because “It was so much fun,”
six or seven years.                          but aerospace engineering won out.

Fall 2009                                                                                                          Radiations 11

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